The Sunday Times and Croissants – clampdown on NHS care for migrants

The Sunday Times and Croissants 3rd March

There is something special about Sunday morning, the Sunday Times, hot croissants with honey and butter, excellent.

Headlines –  “Clampdown on NHS care for migrants” – makes the headlines, David Cameron is preparing to limit the access to free healthcare for immigrants, amid concerns the NHS is being abused by new arrivals. In a profound shake up, immigrants may have to wait for up to a year in casualty, for access to treatment. Why can’t they queue like the rest of us, some might say? Actually, emergency treatment will be excluded from time restriction, along with ante natal care and hip replacements if you bring your own hip. That sort of thing.

The NHS measures are part of a fightback by the prime minister to regain the initiative following recent UKIP advances. “We will occupy the common ground of politics” said the PM. Conviction politics returns. It’s a sort of “go where the votes are greatest” statement, leaving those with real beliefs behind.

Earlier this week, Philip Hammond, defence secretary, warned the Armed Forces cannot sustain further cuts and demanded welfare savings to offset the deficit. Yeah, “troops not soup”, on the streets of Britain. It’s a right wing vote winner.

“No benefits for smokers” may be a central theme of the budget for Greater Manchester Statement this month. This would cut welfare and or the NHS bill in one bold stroke. Together with a “migrants to pay motorway tax” platform, I could have romped home in Eastleigh.

David Smith, asks “Can we still trust the Bank of England with our money”. The Old Lady has lost her compass, with suggestions of negative interest rates, more QE and talking down the pound, meanwhile inflation has been above target since 2009. “I am no longer sure monetary policy is safe in its hands”, the view from the Economic Outlook.

Who could not agree? Next week, we release our “Open letter to Mark Carney”, as part of the Budget for Greater Manchester Statement, together with “Ten things wrong with Economic thinking” at the Bank of England”. Don’t miss that!

Economics news, the latest revisions to GDP confirm the economy actually grew last year by 0.2%, no fears of a triple dip in sight. Despite the latest manufacturing data for February and the “sequester”, we remain confident about the outlook for the year. What’s a sequester? For more detail, check out The Saturday Economist.

Back to the day Job - no diary this week, most of the time spent, working on the budget statement and the scripts for the Business Conference on the 22nd March. I shall be presenting the conference with Kirsty Wark. It really will be a fun show, so don’t miss that, tickets still available, ring the office this week.

Saturday, working in the morning, the day starts as usual with tea, the FT, and the Economist app. The Economist leads with “Send in the clowns”. How Beppe Grillo and Berlusconi, threaten the future of Italy and the euro. As if – clowns running the economy, whatever next.

In the afternoon, tennis, it’s a  7 – 5 win. yep from 2- 5 down! A great win, realise I have been mistiming the comeback, that’s all.

Hope all is well, more news next week,
John

Hope all is well, more news next week,

John
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